A new study has found that sexual health is intimately linked to other health choices that are made – whether one decides to indulge in a few drinks every day, leads a sedentary lifestyle or regularly smokes, according to PsychCentral.com.
The research team evaluated 5,552 Danish men and women aged anywhere from 16 to 97. Not leading a healthy lifestyle appears to have a significant influence on whether one is sexually active, as having unhealthy habits was found to make it 78 percent less likely for men to have a partner and 91 percent less likely for women.
Sexual dysfunction especially prevailed in unhealthy men. Those with a larger waist circumference were 71 percent more likely to experience problems, while men who used hard drugs had an 800 percent higher chance to have an issue.
“Hopefully our findings can be used in future counseling of patients with unhealthy lifestyles,” research leader Morten Frisch said, according to the news source. “Knowing about possible negative consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle to one’s sexual health may help people quit smoking, consume less alcohol, exercise more and lose weight.”
A 2009 study seems to correlate with these findings, as men who struggle with their weight were found to have a higher risk for erectile dysfunction. This appears to be due to a build-up of atherosclerotic plaque in arteries, as well as the fact that being overweight can lead to lower levels of testosterone.
“If you are looking for another reason to lose weight, research now suggests that erectile dysfunction can improve with weight loss,” said Dr. James O. Hill.
Experts suggest that those who are looking for an easy way to become more physically active should start by walking. This is a low-impact activity accessible to nearly everyone, whether that means a vigorous stroll through the woods or a trot down the block.